US professor to testify in trial of pro-life doctor

Professor Priscilla Coleman (PHOTO:

Lawyers for Dr Jacques de Vos, who has been charged by the HPCSA for allegedly advising a mother that her healthy 19 week unborn baby is a human being, have given notice to the HPCSA that US professor Priscilla Coleman may be called as an expert witness.

Prof Coleman, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA is a leading international expert on abortion and mental health.

According to Coleman: “Over the past several decades, the number of peer-reviewed studies identifying adverse mental health outcomes associated with abortion have increased dramatically.”

She states that “hundreds of studies has revealed that women who choose abortion experience increased risk of mental health problems, including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and suicide, among other conditions and symptoms”.

Her research offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world. Results (involving 877 297 participants, 163 880 of whom experienced an abortion) revealed that women who aborted compared to women who have not, experienced 81% increased risk for mental health problems. The results revealed that women who have abortions have the following increased risks: anxiety disorders 34%, depression 37%, alcohol abuse 110%, marijuana abuse 220% and suicide behaviours 155%.

After many delays on the part of the HPCSA since 2017, Dr De Vos pleaded “not guilty” to professional misconduct before a HPCSA Professional Conduct Committee in December 2019. The HPCSA prosecutor must now commence with evidence at the hearing scheduled on April 2 in Cape Town.

The full expert summary of Prof Coleman can be downloaded here

Doctors For Life International (DFL) which has been assisting De Vos with his defence has created a platform where people can contribute towards the cost of the case. You can donate here

DFL has secured the pro deo support of expert witnesses and legal professionals but still needs to raise funds for other costs such as travel, flights, accommodation, printing and phone. More than R106 000 has been raised towards meeting these costs but another R73 000 is needed to cover all the costs, says DFL

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